Millions of us are working from home and meeting in different ways. While tools such as Zoom, WebEx, Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts are the next-best thing to seeing each other in real life, having back-to-back calls throughout the day can easily become exhausting.
Below is a list of tips for virtual meetings
- Slow things down.
Don’t immediately jump into the agenda of a Zoom meeting. If you’re a participant, take a few minutes to practice long, deep breaths or meditation before hopping on your session. If you’re the host, you can also engage the group in this practice together before getting down to business.
- Make sure you are comfortable.
Make sure your seat and clothes are comfortable. This will allow you to move around less and focus more on the meeting. Remember that is it likely that everyone on the call can see you and it never helps someone’s mental state to be called out.
- Cover your face.
For Zoom calls, try covering up your face by sticking a little Post-It or piece of paper over the section of the screen where you can see your face. This helps so that you’re not distracted by your own face or worrying about how you look. It will help you focus and be more present during the meeting.
- Turn off all notifications.
Close out of email on your computer, log out of any messaging programs and put your phone on silent (or even better, in another room) to stay focused on the discussion. These sessions are much like the meeting you would have in person at work. What was against the rule there, is also against the rules in virtual meeting.
- Go Outside.
If you are doing Zoom phone calls (and the subject matter permits), use the call time as a much-needed opportunity to get some sunlight and move your meeting spot outside. This has a tremendous benefit when it comes to your comfort and mental health.
- Remember that there is a camera.
One thing that you need to remember is that there is a camera and everyone can likely see you. This doesn’t just mean look professional, it also means turn off your camera. It’s easy to forget to do this little step, but it is vital. Don’t believe me, just google Zoom meeting gone wrong. This will save you a lot of embarrassment.
There is some good that will come out of all of this. For some of us, it means more time with family, for other it means a comfortable work environment and for others it means we will learn new skill sets. Remember that Zoom meetings can be fun and interactive and if you follow the tips above you’ll do just fine.